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Twelve Spider-Man Villains (Besides Madame Web) Who Deserve Their Own Movies

There’s been an infestation of spiders in 2024, with Sony’s expanding slate of Marvel movies hoping to weave a web of box office success. Madame Web, Kraven the Hunter, and Venom 3 are duking it out, although only the latter is expected to tie into Tom Holland’s wall-crawling hero of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

It wasn’t long ago that Marvel and Sony drew their battle lines over the rights to Spider-Man, leading to grand plans for the SSU – Sony’s Spider-Man Universe. With Venom and Morbius (somewhat unsuccessfully) proving you don’t need Spider-Man to make a Spider-Man movie, Sony is flicking through the pages of Marvel Comics and hoping to showcase a who’s who of antiheroes and villains.

While it’s only a matter of time until the animated Spider-Verse movies collide with the MCU, the Venom-Verse, and beyond, fans are also waiting for the inevitable Sinister Six movie. The Venom-Verse has planted the seeds with Tom Hardy’s sinister symbiote and Jared Leto’s living vampire, but if we want to expand the ranks to the Sinister 12 (yes, they exist in the comics), here are 12 Spider-Man villains who need their own live-action outing. 

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Black Cat

One movie that continues to give us ‘claws’ for thought is the idea of a Black Cat standalone. It’s a crying shame that Felicity Jones never got to slip into spandex after she briefly played Felicia Hardy in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, while there were once reports that Anne Hathaway was going to play her in Sam Raimi’s canned Spider-Man 4

First appearing in 1979’s The Amazing Spider-Man #194, Hardy’s backstory is as the daughter of a renowned cat burglar who becomes a fearsome fighter after being assaulted by an ex-boyfriend. As one of Spider-Man’s most iconic adversaries (and occasional lover), it would be amiss if a Sinister Six lineup didn’t have this feminine feline. It’s even more unfortunate that we were supposed to have a Black Cat movie in the form of Gina Prince-Bythewood’s axed Silver & Black

Chameleon

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Having the honor of being the first villain Spider-Man faced must count for something, and some 61 years after Dmitri Smerdyakov was introduced, he’s long overdue his shot at the top. Largely overshadowed by the fact he’s Kraven the Hunter’s half-brother, fans often forget that Chameleon is a lethal enemy who can disguise himself as anyone. We imagine an espionage thriller where some shady cabal is trying to catch up to Chameleon. 

Numan Acar is seemingly playing Dmitri in Kraven the Hunter, but with it likely being a small part so as not to steal the limelight from Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s titular hunter, the setup for a Chameleon movie is already there. If not, his reputation as a master of disguise means anyone could play him. 

Tombstone

For those who’ve watched Spider-Man: The Animated Series, few stuck fear into our hearts on a Saturday morning quite like Lonnie Lincoln, aka Tombstone. Spider-Man himself describes Tombstone as “Cold as ice, hard as marble,” giving the kind of brute force Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin provides the MCU. Still, it’s his terrifying appearance of pale skin and filed teeth that most remember. 

Spider-Man movies have typically focused on a roster of big names like Doc Ock and Green Goblin, whereas Tombstone is a horrifying street-level menace. Having gone up against everyone from Captain America to Deadpool, a Tombstone movie doesn’t need to worry about bringing over Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. There’s also a plausible foe for Tombstone to go against in the form of the equally underrated Hammerhead. 

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Morlun

Often dubbed Spider-Man’s deadliest foe, Morlun feels like an endgame character for some eventual Spidey showdown. As a threat to the entire Multiverse, Morlun would be the perfect addition to bring the various strands of the Spider-Verse together. We know Keanu Reeves is interested in a Marvel movie, with some pitching him as the ideal Morlun. 

First appearing in 2001’s The Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #30, Morlun is a Multiverse-touring monster from Earth-001. Known for feasting on our eight-legged heroes, Morlun has a single purpose of wiping all Spider-Totems from existence, is a real threat to the Multiverse, and even briefly killed Peter Parker. Having Morlun lead a movie as an outcast of the Inheritors would be true gothic horror to show the darker side of the Spider-Verse. 

Hobgoblin

Yes, we’re all dying to see who plays Norman Osborn and presumably take on the mantle of the Green Goblin in the MCU (we’re lookingat you, Bryan Cranston), but there’s another Goblin who deserves his chance to fly high. Much more than a Green Goblin rip-off, the various Hobgoblins have been hitting us with pumpkin bombs since 1983.

As the thinking man’s Green Goblin, Roderick Kingsley is the former boss of Mary Jane Watson and a criminal mastermind who lets the others take the fall after framing them as the Hobgoblin. There have been plenty of theories about whether Jacob Batalon’s Ned Leeds will break bad and play Hobgoblin in Spider-Man 4, but in terms of a standalone, Kingsley can fly high as an eccentric fashion designer who turned to a life of crime. 

Mister Negative

The success of Insomniac Games’ Marvel’s Spider-Man has undoubtedly helped raise Mister Negative’s street cred, so why not convert that into box office numbers? Giving us a real Jekyll and Hyde, Martin Li is split between his kind-hearted nature as the overseer of F.E.A.S.T. (Mister Positive) and his darker side – looking like a photographic negative.

Li was originally thought to be suffering from Disassociative Identity Disorder, and although this was phased out, it could be brought back in for Sony’s own version of Moon Knight. More than just giving us ties to Spider-Man, Mister Negative has butted heads with the likes of Punisher and Shang-Chi. Sony could try to replicate the successes of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, giving us a martial arts movie with a complicated antihero as its lead.

Beetle

Beetle is another Spidey villain who’s seen a surprising number of characters take the mantle. A live-action Beetle movie could pick from any iterations, but would likely focus on Abner Jenkins as the most famous to dress in the Iron Man-esque suit. If you want to take the female-first route, follow later Beetles like Leila Davis as the widow of Ringer or Janice Lincoln as Tombstone’s daughter. 

Jenkins’ Beetle went on to form the Sinister Syndicate, joined the Thunderbolts under the new alias of MACH-1, and even exists in the MCU thanks to the Spider-Man Homecoming Fight or Flight comic. Beetle might be a low-level villain, but you could introduce them in a similar way to Paul Giamatti’s Rhino in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, then allow Beetle to spread their wings in a standalone. Then again, with DC’s Blue Beetle movie recently bombing, we’re not sure Sony would want to tackle this one. 

Black Tarantula

Like Black Cat to Catwoman, Black Tarantula is effectively Marvel’s answer to Bane. Venom occupies a similar role as the anti-Spider-Man, although the live-action version lacks the grunt that Black Tarantula would arguably bring. In a sentence we never thought we’d write, Carlos LaMuerta’s Black Tarantula is basically Spider-Man meets Wolverine…but with laser eyes.

Originating as a cartel leader, Black Tarantula was trained by the Hand and teamed up with other criminal enterprises for his own gains. A Black Tarantula movie is an easy place to cue other villains or have cameos from the likes of Kingpin and Tombstone. With the Black Tarantula moniker being passed down from father to son, the perfect setup is there of Spider-Man killing Carlos early on, only for his son to head out on a gruesome saga of revenge. 

Silver Sable

Another female powerhouse waiting in the wings is Silvija Sablinova, better known as Silver Sable and coming from the fictional state of Symkaria. This merc for hire has been dispatched as both an enemy or ally to Spider-Man since her debut in 1985’s The Amazing Spider-Man #265, and if she appears in live-action, we imagine a grittier and R-rated version of the MCU’s middling Black Widow movie.

There was talk about the ill-fated Silver & Black being reworked as a TV series, but as both Silver Sable and Black Cat have enough of a legacy to hold up a movie of their own, we say give it to them. More than this, her connections to Doctor Doom and place as the leader of the villainous Wild Pack means it’s likely a case of when (not if) Silver Sable makes the leap to live-action.

Jackal

Give Jackal a break because, let’s be honest, he’s more than deserving of his own movie. Professor Miles Warren was introduced back in 1965’s The Amazing Spider-Man #31, but when the Jackal arrived in 1974, Warren was revealed as a Gwen Stacy-obsessed villain who’d cracked cloning. This makes Jackal an MVP of Marvel Comics, having created some of the most important Spider-Man characters. 

Even though we’re not going to deny that the Clone Saga goes down in history as one of Marvel’s most divisive arcs – reportedly being linked to its filing for bankruptcy in the ‘90s – it could also be a franchise-shattering crossover if done properly. A Jackal movie can also give us Kaine Parker and Ben Reilly, setting up future movies like a Scarlet Spider spin-off.

Man-Wolf

While the idea of a space werewolf might sound like a faux Robert Rodriguez trailer playing before a Machete movie, Man-Wolf is a Marvel character that lends itself neatly to a movie without Spider-Man. As the son of J. Jonah Jameson, John Jonah Jameson III is a friend of Peter Parker, beloved astronaut, and has even been the husband of Jennifer Walters, aka She-Hulk.

After being infected with space spores that gave him super strength and going by the name of Captain Jupiter, Jameson again returned to the stars and was afflicted by dimensional ruby that reacted with moonlight and turned him into a lycanthropic villain. Man-Wolf would be a popular solo movie choice because he’s not a household Spidey character, his backstory has been tied to Morbius, and at the end of the day, who doesn’t love a good werewolf story? 

Agent Venom 

Flash Thomson is a Spider-Man side character who is long overdue for his own outing. Tony Revolori plays Flash in the MCU, but it’s a far cry from Joe Manganiello’s formidable bully of the Tobey Maguire days. Even though Revolori told Inverse he’d love to star in an Agent Venom movie, we could see a more traditional take on a PTSD-riddled Flash suiting up as part of the Hardy-led Venom-Verse. 

Flash’s bullying nature has a dark undercurrent of physical abuse at the hands of his alcoholic father, and after he loses both his legs in the Iraq War, he’s re-recruited by the military. You don’t even need to find someone new, as Manganiello is the perfect age to lead an Agent Venom movie. Picture the scene of a Saving Private Ryan war epic with symbiotes at its core.  

 

Want to learn all about MADAME WEB? Read our Explainer here

You can buy advance tickets for MADAME WEB here

 

 

Based in Manchester, UK, Tom Chapman has over seven years’ experience covering everything from dragons to Demogorgons. Starting out with a stint at Movie Pilot in Berlin, Tom has since branched out to indulge his love of all things Star Wars and the MCU at Digital Spy, Den of Geek, IGN, Yahoo! and more. These days, you’ll find Tom channelling his inner Gale Weathers and ranting about how HBO did us dirty with Game of Thrones Season Eight.

 

 

 

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